But while Jolson and Berle are long dead, thank God, Archie Comics—stale, ugly, joyless, insipid—endure, taunting me from every other checkout counter.
(Weirdly, the franchise’s half-caste musical/Saturday morning cartoon spin-off somehow managed to embody precisely the opposite characteristics. Universally acknowledged as the Everest of bubblegum, The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar” sounds as fresh and happy—and even sexy—as it did when it hit #1 in 1969. “The Archies sing from exultant satiation,” David Smay writes rightly in Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth. More so than the dour Doors or the sour Stones, “Sugar, Sugar” is, he declares, the real sound of “Top 40 after the pill.” Mick Jagger sang unconvincingly about not getting any satisfaction, whereas the unapologetically ersatz Archies effortlessly conveyed post-coital delight. If only Don Kirshner had been in charge of the damn comic book, too …)
Anyway, I should be delighted by the news that the comic’s titular “Archie” is, at last, deceased. Shot to death, even.
But while I hasten to add that I was nowhere near Riverdale when that happened, my relief is tempered…
I recently had sex with a woman who writes for the Guardian and in the heat of the moment I said, ‘I love you — you filthy slut!’ I meant it as a compliment! Honest! She stopped the proceedings and gave me a long lecture about how the ‘verbal demeaning of women’ was totally unacceptable. I had a similar experience with a woman of the right. (I won’t repeat what I said because it’s too embarrassing.) But she just laughed and said, ‘Oh, you do say the sweetest things to a girl!’ (…)
I have slept with women who write for the New Statesman and women who write for the Daily Telegraph and I can’t honestly claim that one lot is better than the other. But there are certain post-coital benefits that come with women of the right. They never subject a man to the music of Nick Drake or Nina Simone. As good libertarians, they don’t mind if you smoke in bed or pick up a newspaper or roll over and go to sleep — come to think of it, that’s what they are more likely to do. Nor do you ever have to lie in bed and watch some mawkish film about Nelson Mandela or one made by Michael Moore. (They don’t think you’re demented because you’d rather watch Die Hard.) And right-wing women never think that leaving the toilet seat up is a passive-aggressive act of patriarchy.
It still seems odd that in one of Gruen’s most reproduced pix of the band, Simonon and Jones are standing in each other’s usual positions on stage.
And yes, it also remains disconcerting seeing Joe Strummer appearing to “punch” the WTC, and then note the buildings’ absence in the Green Day rip-off photo.
That’s my headline, not Mark Steyn’s, of course — but, hey, compare and contrast:
The “Palestinian Authority” is not a fully sovereign nation but it holds roughly the powers the Irish Free State had in 1922. Many aspects of that settlement were obnoxious to southern Ireland’s “separatists” – the oath of allegiance to the King, the viceroy, their status as British subjects, the Royal Navy ports – but they nevertheless got on with building an Irish nation. Which is to say, boring stuff like fiscal policy and the education ministry and the department of public works.
Nobody in the “government” of Gaza wants to do that. They were left a lot of great infrastructure and viable businesses when the Israelis withdrew – and they let it all die. They were bequeathed 3,000 greenhouses that grew flowers and fruit for export – and they demolished them. Oh, sure, there’s still work to be found in Gaza: They’re big customers of construction materials, but they don’t use them to build factories or schools or tourist hotels, only a network of state-of-the-art concrete tunnels under the border with Israel, so they can sneak in and kill Jews. In the Sixties and Seventies, many anti-colonial movements used terrorism to advance their nationalist goals. Hamas uses nationalism to advance its terrorist goals.
Uri Goldflam: ‘The cost is already high; it may even be higher, unbearably higher. And we will win.’
The best tour guide in Israel (among his many other talents) writes at the Times:
We did not want this war. We did not choose it. Quite the contrary. Following hundreds of rockets fired at Israeli towns, cities and villages, after accepting a ceasefire (twice) that was rejected by Hamas with renewed rocket launches, after two thwarted attempts by Hamas commandos to attack Israeli villages by sea and by underground tunnels, we had been left with little choice. We are faced with an evil foe. One that cares not for the lives of its own people, deliberately placing innocent civilians in harms’ way, cynically hoping and expecting them to be killed by Israeli fire. We face a cowardly foe. One that hides among women and children. Firing rockets from mosques and children’s playgrounds, that hides weapons, ammunition and rockets in schools and residential homes. (…)
That day will come when our enemies will accept, finally and unequivocally, that they will not defeat us. We are here to stay, in our Land.
Wittgenstein found Russell’s philosophical work silly and glib, and he ridiculed the very idea of a League for Peace and Freedom. “I suppose you would prefer a League for War and Slavery,” Russell retorted, and Wittgenstein replied “eher noch!” – “much rather, much rather!” He was not entirely serious, of course: it is blindingly obvious that peace is better than war, and freedom preferable to slavery, just as health is better than disease, and happiness preferable to depression. But he was not joking either: genuine political differences, he thought, are not going to be resolved by statements of the obvious. In any case he respected the virtues of old-fashioned statesmanship: circumspection, diplomacy and proper caution about the unintended consequences of political action. Presenting oneself as a supporter of “Peace and Freedom” was an exercise in smugness and self-advertisement rather than a heroic act of moral or political virtue, or a substantial contribution to the common good. Russell might be an atheist in theory, but he seemed to be conducting himself like a self-righteous parson. “Russell and the parsons,” as Wittgenstein would put it, “have done infinite harm, infinite harm.” (…)
If the prospect of nuclear extermination has receded since the time when Russell was prophesying it, the explanation lies less in campaigns for peace and freedom than in the unexpected consequences of developments that no one could have foreseen – the calculations and miscalculations of Mikhail Gorbachev, for instance, or the accidental canniness of Ronald Reagan. Irony is a force of history as well as a figure of speech, and in politics you need to be prepared for surprises, even if you are as clever as Bertrand Russell.
I’d welcome expert input as to whether or not NYC street gangs were as multicultural as they were in this low-budget, entertaining Cagney vehicle.
This seems like Hollywood liberal, The House I Live In wishful thinking to me, but I invite corrections.
Pre-dating a convention later seen (and made fun of) in WW2 films, the gang in the extremely Warner Brothers The Mayor of Hell consists of a black kid, a Jewish kid, a couple of Irish kids, an Italian, and lesser characters who aren’t as well fleshed out.
It’s possible that in disease ridden NYC slums of the day, “sickly” was an ethnicity of its own, and a key character has a persistent, TB-like cough.
When people say “This movie could never be made today,” they are usually wrong.
The difference between Blazing Saddles and any random Wayans Brothers comedy is negligible.
However, The Mayor of Hell isn’t supposed to be a comedy (although it includes welcome comic relief) so I doubt you could get away with many of the scenes now.
Amusingly, during the reform school’s elections, a WASP and an Irish kid are elected Mayor and Chief of Police. When Cagney calls for nominations for Treasurer — “the guy who’ll look after the money,” he explains — the camera cuts to the Jewish boy, who puffs himself up and is clearly assured the job is his. Sure enough, later we find him running the school store.
In the (real life) courtroom scene at the start of the movie, each parent walks up to the judge and makes his case (or not) for his son’s innocence, in stereotypical fashion.
Not surprisingly, the black father’s character is particularly cringe inducing, although he gets the last laugh at a lawyer’s expense — and hey, at least he’s there.
It’s 2014, but Barbara Fletcher at OZY is still spreading (pun intended) 25 year old misinformation about AIDS:
Then the happy ending: Rose gets the all-clear and we’ve all had a hearty laugh. But in 21 minutes we’ve also learned something: AIDS is not just a “gay disease” and it can happen to anyone. Understanding is vital. A pretty good lesson from a show about four older women living together in Miami, Florida, don’t you think?
No, AIDS couldn’t “happen to anyone.” But gay activists needed that myth.
AIDS was one of the best thing to happen to the “gay cause” because it became a weapon of “normalization.”
Promiscuous gay men couldn’t be bothered actually using all those Trojans they tossed around during Pride Parades, but activists employed AIDS as a Trojan Horse, to get their false “we’re all the same” message into the culture.
(Note: the writers on Golden Girls were gay men.)
This led to the AIDS Industrial Complex we’ve been putting up with for years, although losing a bunch of members of that industry in one day may cripple it temporarily.
While The Golden Girls was on the air, rich conservatives were dunking tens of millions into think tanks and magazines, but not much into producing pop culture counter-narratives.
Barbara Fletcher effortlessly remembers a TV show that aired in 1990. Enough others did too, to warrant an article about it at OZY.
Can anyone (even the men who wrote them) recall a single white paper produced by Hudson or Heritage at that very same time?
Does Olivia Chow’s proposed handgun ban include the piece owned by Warren Kinsella’s girlfriend — who volunteers for Chow?
Not surprisingly, there are great comments at Kate’s site, as to laws against “brandishing,” transporting firearms, etc.
I’m glad Kinsella and Kirbie approve of armed self-defense.
That’s something the three of us can agree on, but the authorities don’t see it that way. It’s a crime in Canada.
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) July 5, 2014
But that’s a real one above, right? I’m so confused.
Meanwhile, does anyone know if Warren Kinsella has resigned from Sun News yet?
…someone at a congressional computer keeps changing the Wiki entry on the Kennedy assassination.
That’s the real reason they hate unapologetically in-your-face “conservative” women like Ann Coulter or even Sarah Palin.
Watch how quickly the mask drops, and over less than nothing — in fact, over something you’d think they’d approve of:
But it seemed, at least to me, that using a woman’s last name for a child threatened everyone. An older woman asked me if I was doing this to make a point. Why was all this doing perceived as mine, not my husband’s as well? At a party, a peer told me she was “diehard Obama” and then argued that her only real concern about using a woman’s last name is that you risk the ease of preserving lineage and historical records.
“Really?” I kept responding.
Then, I took my pregnant, vomiting, exhausted self to New York to visit my cousin—a remarkable and fierce woman whose Facebook “political views” description reads :I’m for doing drugs during an abortion while marrying a gay illegal immigrant.” We drove around her neighborhood and she showed me the street art she photographs. At some point, I told her about my baby’s last name. She lifted her hands off the steering wheel and yelled, “What?!” as if in prayer, as if the earth had shuddered.
One short pause and then: “I want that. I really want that. But my man would never let that shit fly.”